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Answered: When is the Best Time to Book a Cruise?

Read Time - 7 mins & 45 secs

A cruise is a worry-free way to visit some of the most exotic and enchanting destinations of the world and can be a dream vacation but planning out your itinerary may seem like a daunting task at first. You may not even have a clue of when to start the booking process.

When you book your cruise at the right time, you will benefit by saving money and getting to participate in all the activities you wish to do. Here is a guide to help you figure out when the best time is to book your cruise vacation.

When it comes to booking a dream cruise vacation, planning ahead will save you money! We recommend that you take time to search your cruise options and pick out the package that is right for you and your loved ones. No two cruise ships are exactly the same and each offers different itineraries and activities.

A couple is served a meal onboard a Holland America cruise ship, one of the top choices to consider when comparing cruise lines.

Best Time of Year to Book a Cruise

When it comes to booking a dream cruise vacation, planning ahead will save you money! We recommend that you take time to search your cruise options and pick out the package that is right for you and your loved ones. No two cruise ships are exactly the same and each offers different itineraries and activities.

The best time of year to book a cruise is during ‘Wave Season’, which lasts from January to March. During Wave Season, most cruise lines slash their prices and offer up amazing deals in an effort to get their cabins booked for the Spring and Summer cruises. When multiple cruise lines compete for your business, you get the benefit of saving a lot of money!

Wave Season is like ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ combined, but the sale goes on for three months instead of only a couple of days, giving you the perfect amount of time to work with a vacation planner and pick out the best cruise line and itinerary for you and your family.

Check out our exclusive Wave Sale offerings to see what cruise packages are on sale now!

If you do not want to wait until the start of Wave Season in January to schedule your cruise, Fall and Winter are also good times of the year to book your reservations. Most cruise lines announce their sailing schedules and itineraries in the Fall. New cruise ships often get booked up quickly as do itineraries that include warm weather destinations, so waiting until the last minute to reserve your spot on a cruise can limit your choices.

Escape the Winter cold and take advantage of beautiful pools and onboard entertainment onboard a ship like the stunning Celebrity Apex.

You might get lucky and score lower prices during the Fall and Winter months as cruise lines sometimes lower their prices to entice travelers to book their reservations earlier, but typically the best deals are still during Wave Season.

Best Times of the Year to Sail

Depending on where you are sailing, weather can have an impact on your cruise itinerary. Some regions of the world experience Winter cold-snaps, while other areas see large amounts of rain, extreme heat, and humidity. Before booking your next cruise, consider the weather conditions to ensure that you are able to maximize the fun you have on your trip. Here is a look at the best times of the year to sail to several popular locations:

Caribbean

Most cruise lines offer trips to the Caribbean all year long, but you will experience the best weather if you book your trip between December and April when the region is enjoying its dry season and it’s not hurricane season. This means that you will be able to fully enjoy the sun-soaked activities offered on the ship and at port. Take a look these world-class cruise packages.

The Caribbean is one of the most popular cruise destinations because of the many relaxing islands.

Alaska

Alaska is known for its beautiful snow-capped mountains and huge glaciers, which illicits thoughts of cold temperatures among many travelers. Book your cruise between May and September and enjoy warmer weather, while still getting the opportunity to check out snow and ice off into the distance. Here are some excellent Alaskan cruise packages to consider.

Cruise lines only offer sailings to Alaska in the Summer season when the temperatures are milder for comfortable exploration and better views of wildlife.

Europe

Europe can be a cold and drizzly region during the Winter months, and it is famous for its fog. To get the most out of your European cruise and maximize the likelihood that you will be able to see all of its iconic landmarks, book your cruise between May and September when the temperatures are comfortable and the climate is dry.

Book a cruise to Europe where you can stop in unforgettable destinations like Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Mediterranean

An exotic getaway that features ancient landmarks and a rich culture, the Mediterranean is best visited in May, June, September, or October when the temperatures are comfortable and most tourists are away from its most popular beaches and cities. Here is a look at some popular cruise options.

La Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona is one of the most iconic works of architecture in all of Europe and the Mediterranean, and accessible on many Barcelona shore excursions.

Asia

Asia experiences severe rain and monsoons during the region's wet season, which can make a cruise to this area of the globe less than enjoyable. To be sure you are able to explore the ports and enjoy a dry cruise, plan your trip between November and March. You will get to experience warm and sunny weather. Here are some great cruise options to consider.

An Asia cruise itinerary that stops in Hong Kong is one the most memorable vacation experiences available.

South Pacific

Like with Asia, the South Pacific experiences a wet and dry season, which can have a dramatic impact on your vacation plans if you do not know when to book your cruise. Plan on sailing between May and October to ensure you get to enjoy lots of sunshine and no rain. Check out these popular cruises.

Related: The Dreamiest Islands in the South Pacific

Cruise lines often offer discounts on cruises to various destinations around the world during the shoulder seasons, which are the months that land in between the high and low seasons when the weather is mild and you can experience a little rain or cold weather here and there. While you may not be able to do as many outdoor activities as you would during the peak weather seasons, you can still enjoy a memorable vacation and save some money on your cruise.

How to Choose the Best Cruise Line to Sail With

Just like there are many fantastic cruise itineraries that allow you to explore the world, there are also many cruise lines to choose from when booking your exciting vacation, so how do you know which one to choose? Choosing a cruise line that suites your needs is easy as long as you do your research and know what each has to offer you. Check out customer reviews and determine which cruise lines offer the best amenities and the best overall customer satisfaction.

Symphony of the Seas is one of the best cruise ships for families and features endless amounts of onboard entertainment for all ages.

It also helps to make a list to determine what activities, entertainment, and amenities appeal most to you so that you can narrow down your cruise line options based on what you would enjoy doing aboard the ship. If you consider yourself to be a foodie, determine what ships have restaurants that appeal to you.

If you enjoy watching live entertainment shows, check out the performance line-up offered aboard each cruise ship. If you enjoy lounging by the pool with a cocktail in hand or would like to focus on your health and wellbeing, make your decision based on what ship provides the best recreational facilities.

Norwegian Joy and Bliss offer the only racetrack’s at sea that make for a truly fun-filled and unique experience.

Booking your cruise at the right time can have an amazing impact on the entire experience and allow you to relax and enjoy the ride. Do your research and enlist an agent to help you book your vacations so that you are completely ready to sail away to paradise!

How a Travel Agent Can Help You Book the Best Cruise

Planning a cruise vacation for the first time can be a daunting task when you consider all of the decisions that need to be made ahead of time to ensure you get to take advantage of all the adventures to be had both on and off of the ship. A travel agent can assist you in planning the cruise of your dreams!

Travel Agents know everything there is to know about booking a cruise and can help you find deals and perks including upgrades to suites such as this Regent Cruises suite.

Whether you know exactly where you want to go and when you want to sail or are open to the infinite number of possibilities available to you when it comes to taking a cruise, your travel agent will get to know you and can assist you with picking out the best cruise option.

Independent Travel Agents apart of the Avoya Network are experienced with helping travelers pick the best cruise line, cruise ship, itinerary, time to sail, stateroom, flights and everything else that involved in booking a cruise.

There are also a series of decisions to make regarding what concessions you would like delivered to your room as well as on-board activities you would like to take part in; your travel agent can help you navigate the whole process while also making sure all of the dazzling details are taken care of so you can enjoy a stress-free vacation without going over your budget.

Related: How to Save Time and Money with Avoya Travel

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